My singing and music experience
Singing has always been a huge passion throughout my life, but I’ve only truly found my voice in the last few years, and I’d like to help others do the same. It’s a wonderful form of self-expression, sharing and connecting with onself and others.
I have had several years of formal singing lessons myself, alongside lots of personal study. I perform solo and in several groups and I do session vocals for a range of producers.
Have a listen to my showreel, live performance footage and one of my recent session vocal credits (a Spring-themed song for CBBC’s Numberblocks series, for which I was commissioned by the BAFTA-winning composer Ben Lee-Delisle) below:
“Riaz is a great singing teacher.He broke down certain aspects of my technique and helped me improve them in a way that no other singing teacher has been able to do.”
How I teach
A thorough grounding in technique
I aim to pass on to students a deep understanding of their vocal instrument:
Vocal Anatomy-Understanding the processes of physical coordination required to produce vocal sound efficiently, safely and stably. I understand how contemporary vocal styles pose a particular challenge to these core principles and always seek to minimise risk and ensure healthy vocal practice. I don’t currently do vocal rehabilitation work.
Psychology of Performance-Why do we get nervous during performance? What strategies can we put in place to alleviate nerves? These are some of the questions which students first consider when thinking of the psychology of performance, whether auditioning, gigging or practising for exams. I also encourage students to think about the entire range of thoughts and feelings that they experience in performing and their varied motivations for performing. Understand yourself better and you can channel your energy into your ability to tell a story through song. We can also delve into rehearsal, live performance and recording techniques.
Structured and innovative lessons
Focussed Lessons- I strongly encourage students to take ownership of lessons, keeping in mind a long term vision of what they want to achieve.
Importance of Theory- I’m a member of AOTOS, the Musicians’ Union and regularly attend vocal-teaching conferences and keep up to date with modern voice science.
My goal as a teacher is to eventually become redundant. I think it’s really important to give students the skills to think and act independently over time. In lessons I seek to teach students how to interpret and adjust to the variety of information (auditory, physiological, emotional and purely cognitive) which they must process during performance. A key part of this is teaching the student how to monitor themselves. As Richard Miller states, “Good teaching produces independent singers, capable of trusting their own ears and their own bodies”.
Safe and fun lessons
It can be easy to get hung up on technique, performance and achievement, but singing and singing lessons have to be enjoyable first and foremost! Enjoyable lessons also keep students engaged and focused.
It’s also incredibly important to me that lessons are a safe space to experiment and make mistakes. I teach under-18s and having taught in schools I am fully DBS checked, registered with the update service and have recently undertaken safeguarding training.
Who I teach
I teach both amateurs (contemporary pop, MT) and professional singers in all contemporary styles (inc. pop, rock, metal, R&B) who are interested in the following:
Auditioning for singing competitions, bands and session work
Studying for examination (such as Rock School)
Improving their performance (understanding the psychology of performance, performance technique)
Recording and microphone technique (I’ve recorded extensively and produce my own music in Pro Tools)
Songwriting support (song analysis, songwriting checklists)
Music marketing (website design, social media marketing)